Beginning with the end in mind at Coyne PR


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What type of company do you want to be when you grow up?

tom coyne of coyne prAbout 7 years ago I had the chance to cross paths with a friend from college. Tom Coyne and I had lived on the same floor our freshman year at Marist College. Tom played on the football team, brandishing a personality and a warm smile that could light up a room.

Tom was now a successful businessman, owning his own agency. Coyne Public Relations was based in Parsippany, NJ and boasted an impressive list of clients. Tom and his team worked with iconic brands such as Disney, Campbell Soup, Burger King and Goodyear to name just a few.

While sitting down with Tom, I had the opportunity to ask him about his business philosophy. He relayed an approach that stuck with me to this day. It was both simple and prophetic. I’ll paraphrase his words,

When I started the agency, my goal was not to be the biggest or to have the best clients. It was simply to become the best agency to work for. I knew if we were the best agency to work for, we would then attract the best people. And that if we retained the best people, the best clients will follow.

It’s been over two decades since Tom Coyne started his agency as a sole proprietor. The firm now boasts over 110 employees and maintains offices in both Parsippany and New York City.

How does Coyne focus on becoming the best?

Coyne PR green goldfish #751

It focuses on employees first. Supporting employees by promoting a work / life balance. Allowing team members not only to make a great living, but allowing them to enjoy a strong quality of life. It lands them in the Green Goldfish Project at #751.

In 2009, Coyne was named the “Best Agency to Work for in America” by The Holmes Report. In addition, this past year Coyne became a finalist for PR Week’s Mid-Size Agency of the Year. No surprise here as Coyne has dominated the Small Agency category for the better part of a decade. It’s only a matter of time before Coyne begins to give the Large Agencies some additional competition.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra added for good measure) – The folks at Coyne have a playful side. It’s common for them to play pranks on one another. The variety of which they label “Hilarious, but Harmless.” Here is a fun example:

The Green Goldfish Project is a quest to find 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. Green goldfish are the little signature extras given to employees. They help differentiate a company, increase employee retention and drive positive WoM.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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